Greylock Mill

This mill formed part of the region’s strength in cotton manufacturing and was the site of workers’ strikes during the Great Depression.

The Greylock Mill was owned and operated by McLellan, Hunter & Co. which was established in 1846, producing cotton goods. After several changes in ownership, the entire property was purchased in 1857 by R. R. Andrews. He built additional production space and housing and by 1860, the machinery on site consisted of 432 throstle spindles, 840 mule spindles, and 40 looms.

More changes in ownership followed, but in 1880 the Greylock Mills company was formed, involving the well-known Plunkett family. A new dam and a new weave room were also constructed. In 1929, the Plunketts, owner of a substantial number of area mills, sold the Greylock Mill, among others, to a conglomerate, Berkshire Fine Spinning Associates (BFSA), which employed between three and four thousand workers in the area.

At the Greylock Mill, the workers, mainly French-Canadian immigrants, took raw cotton and worked it through the stages that ultimately produced light, smooth untextured fabrics that could be sent on for many uses to other business. Locally, these fabrics were used for printing at the Arnold and Windsor works. Workers at the mill were required to wear masks but many workers later suffered devastating health effects from tiny airborne materials they were inhaling daily at work.

During the Great Depression, textiles were still the major employer in the northern Berkshires but many mills were also closing. Strikes in the mid-1930s, part of larger regional and national labor actions in the textile industry, brought hardship but little visible benefits to workers. When demand for fabrics slowed, Greylock Mill would sometimes close down for weeks at a time.

In later years, the structure served as an aluminum manufacturing facility, a fine lace weaving operation and a wallpaper manufacturing firm. Purchased by the Cariddi family in 1976, it served as a wholesale toy import and distribution company into the twenty-first century. In 2015, New York City-based architects and developers Salvatore Perry and Karla Rothstein purchased the building and began a process of investment and redesign that included food production, event space, and apartments.